Costly Discipleship

As many of you know, this past Palm Sunday, two suicide bombings took place at two Coptic Orthodox churches in Egypt, killing more than 45 people. The word “Coptic” means “Egyptian” in the Greek language.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Barghouti and Mandela

Recently I read a long excerpt from one of Philip Yancey’s books, and it touched me deeply. With his permission, I have included it below. He did express the following caveat: “You’re welcome to use this excerpt in a blog. I have since heard from some people who question the details, since they do not appear in the records of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. I first read of the story in a Mennonite publication, and they are usually very trustworthy. You should know, though, that its veracity has been questioned.” In spite of this caveat, I think this long excerpt is worth reading, and I like to imagine what would happen if radical grace were practiced today. Would it make a difference in the conflicts in our broken world? Jesus practiced radical grace, and what a difference that made to our human history!

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Timeline of The Arab Spring

Here is a very valuable resource to those who are interested in quickly finding out important dates and events in the Arab Spring from 2010 to 2015. It came from one of the books that I have read in 2016: A Rage For Order, written by Robert Worth. This timeline presents in detail the events of the Arab uprising or Arab Springs and the developments that followed. For some, this timeline is a useful one time read to learn chronologically about the recent history of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.  For others this Timeline is a resource to go back to repeatedly. For quick reference, I have underlined the countries.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
My Way vs. God's Way

Whenever I listen to the beautiful music of I did it "My way” by Frank Sinatra or others, I have mixed feelings. I LOVE the TUNE and I can listen to it repeatedly, but as for the lyrics, I wish they were different and focused more on honoring God rather than focusing on our human achievements. The lyrics of "My Way" song is diametrically opposite to the gospel.  In the Bible we see abundance of examples of people who at one time had the "My way" attitude and at other times, they did it "God's way."

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
CIU January Course

Early in January 2017, I taught a course at Columbia International University in Columbia, SC. It was quite an experience. I had a relatively small class that included a financier from Wall Street and a man who is aspiring to be pastor, and the rest were missionaries. I was honored to spend eight hours a day for five days in the company of those sharp people. At the end of each day I asked that they share a main insight they gained on that day and an issue they are struggling with or on which they disagree with me. At the end of the week, I requested a longer response addressing how the course impacted their lives and their thinking.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Deobandi Islam

Some people assume that the majority of Muslims in the world live in the Middle East. This is an easy mistake to make since Mecca is in Saudi Arabia, and the famous Al Azhar University/Seminary is in Cairo, Egypt. Mecca is the spiritual capital of Islam since the pilgrimage takes place on an annual basis in that city. Cairo, on the other hand, is the intellectual capital of Islam because of the presence of Al Azhar University/Seminary. Al Azhar Seminary is the most prestigious Muslim seminary in the world. It has been going nonstop for more than one thousand years. Al Azhar has many branches, and the number of students studying at any given time is about 90,000. It is true that the Arab world is the heart of Islam, but most Muslims live in Southeast Asia, in countries such as Indonesia, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Christmas 2016

A couple of years ago, I presented a different perspective on Christmas in a blog. I developed this perspective in my understanding of the Scriptures as a result of knowing Dr. Kenneth Bailey for years. I first met him in 1965, when he was the professor of New Testament at the seminary in Beirut, Lebanon, where I was a student, and our relationship continued over the years. He went to be with the Lord in May 2016 at the age of 85. 

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Unshackled and Growing... Revised Edition

In October 2016, my book Unshackled and Growing: Muslims and Christians on the Journey to Freedom ran out of print. The revised edition is now available on my website for free download. As I spent many hours working on the revised edition, my soul was deeply encouraged and refreshed; no wonder, because the gospel permeates this book. The book is written in user-friendly language to Muslims, and is helpful to Christians who are willing to journey with them. I wrote this book as a recovering legalist, and it is written to people who are tired of a life of legalism trying to please and appease God.  

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel Qureshi has just announced that he has advanced stomach cancer.  Qureshi is a Christian apologist and best-selling author. He announced on August 29, 2016 that he has been diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. Qureshi, is a Christian convert from Islam. Below is Nabeel's letter and I am posting it with his permission. 

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Historical Background... Haggai and Zechariah

Some time ago I addressed in a blog the historical time of Daniel in the Old Testament. I quoted extensively from a book that I read recently with the title An Introduction to the Old Testament written by Longman lll and Dillard. In this blog I want to quote more on the historical background of the two Old Testament prophets, Haggai and Zechariah.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Gulen and Turkey

In July 2016, there was an attempted coup in Turkey. With everything going on in our lives in general and this event being a world away, events like this often seem irrelevant or they are just not something you have the time or inclination to understand since they don’t affect you directly. But understanding world events is important, especially this event — it hits a lot closer to home than you realize.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Daniel: Historical Background

Recently I finished reading a textbook with the title An Introduction to the Old Testament written by Longman lll and Dillard. In this book, the authors go into every book of the Old Testament and address: The Bibliographies (such as Commentaries that they recommend), The Genre, The Historical Background, The Literary Analysis, The Theological Message and finally Approaching the New Testament.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Getting Older

I was planning to join Barbara for three days in June on a trip to England and Wales to celebrate the 80th birthday of her sister and her family reunion. While Barbara would stay longer with her family, my plan was to travel to Scotland for a ministry opportunity. But due to health reasons, we had to cancel my trip all together, and Barbara will go alone to England and Wales.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
A Book and a Sermon

In this blog I would like to motivate you and encourage you to read a book and listen to a sermon. The book is by Jerry Bridges, and the sermon is by our pastor and friend Mark Bates. The sermon is the memorial service Mark preached for Jerry.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
A Journey of Learning

Both my wife and I enjoy our callings and gifts. It feels like God designed us to do what we enjoy doing. For me that’s primarily teaching; for my wife, Barbara, she enjoys covering the students and I and the Muslim world in prayer during all the class hours. This past January I had the privilege of working with 17 students at Columbia International University (CIU) for eight hours a day, Monday through Friday.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Israel, Arabs and the Family of God

John S. Piper, is admired by most evangelicals. He is the founder of www.desiringgod.org and he is the chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis. Presbyterians are the ones who are usually associated with Calvin but not the Baptists. Some people refer to John Piper as a Calvinist Baptist author and preacher. His books include Spectacular SinsWhat Jesus Demands from the WorldPierced by the Word, and God's Passion for His Glory. His bestsellers include: Don't Waste Your Life and Passion for Jesus Christ. His organization "Desiring God" is named for his famous book Desiring God: Meditating of a Christian Hedonist (1986).

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
The Impact of a Novel

There is a novel that was written approximately two hundred years after the birth of Christ titled The Protoevangelium of James. It is good to learn about this novel as we are celebrating the Christmas season. Of course James, the brother of Jesus, cannot be the author of this novel; in those days many wrote books claiming famous people as the authors. The author of this novel was likely not a Jew and did not know much about the geography of Palestine. For instance, he described the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem as a desert when in reality it was rich farmland.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour
Heaven

In August 2015, as I was having a physical therapy session, the physical therapist said that heaven will be boring. I agreed that IF her imagination of heaven is like having wings and floating on clouds and attending a church service that lasts forever, then heaven will be mind- numbingly boring. Instead I told her that heaven is enjoyment of deep intimacy with Jesus and our heavenly Father. Then I asked her to go back and remember how she felt when she first fell in love with the man who became her husband, and she responded right away by saying "ecstasy." So I told her that heaven is a sense of ecstasy, of deep joy experienced eternally as a result of deep intimacy with God. From then on, whenever we referred to heaven the word "ecstasy" surfaced.

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Dr. Nabeel Jabbour